Category Archives: Greece

24. The 13th of October : Hitch-hiking from Sofia to Thessaloniki

Zdravko and Angel were my hosts in Sofia for two nights. I left them on the 13th of October. It was 7.30 am when i walked on the rail track to join the main road to the south of the city in direction of Greece.

I hitch-hiked along the road, passed several round-about and saw many cars. In one round about, one driver gave me a lift at 8.40 am. He was going to work. 70 km further, an other person brought me to Blagoevgrad where i stopped for lunch.

Then i joined the main road to hitch-hike again. One man drove me to Simitli and then a other man brought me to Sandanski. From there i met a driver who gave me a lift to Petrich and from Petrich in a gas station, one man who didn’t speak english at all brought me a few kilometers further. Then i met an other person who spoke english and gave me a lift to the Border in Kulata. We crossed the border together even he didn’t plan to go to Greece.

After the border i hitch-hiked for one hour and one truck driver stopped. A guy from Czech Republic. I had this sign to Serres but he went to Thessaloniki where i wanted to go which was perfect.

He didn’t speak english at all. We communicated in Russian with the few sentences and words i learnt in Russia.

After a while he said that his GPS doesn’t work. He showed me the adress where he had to go. At each intersection he asked me where to go. He felt lost. We finally found our way to Thessaloniki which was quite easy. We crossed all the center of Thessaloniki with his 35 tons truck, destroying brunches from trees, making the traffic stuck when we saw this other big truck fixing stuff and taking almost all the space of the road. The guy who worked for the city when to speak with the driver in english so i had to translate.

The communication was quite difficult and i tried to say to him to go somewhere in center to use wifi and then to find our way with the computer i have.

He didn’t understood me and after crossing the center we found again the ring road where we stopped somewhere as we were lost.

I succeed with mimes and simples words to make him understand to go back to center even it was against his will, to find help, wifi and the way to his destination.

At that point i felt i was his last chance to go where he had to go. I saw this in his eyes and heard that in his voice. A czech driver with a norvegian stock driving a french truck going to Greece for the first time and taking a french hitch-hiker to help him.

We went back to center, went to a restaurant to find help, then we met this guy in a small shop who spoke english and helped us. With my tablet he showed us how to go there. I wrote down on a paper for the driver the directions and i could leave him. I felt he wouldn’t say no that i would join him to this industrial zone but i had to stay in center to meet my host and it would not have made sense anyway to join him until there.

It was the first time the roles were exchanged. I helped the stressed and lost truck driver to find his way. And he helped me too by giving me a lift. A good team.

IMG_1433.JPGumbrellas in the sky, Thessaloniki.

IMG_1388.JPGinside a cathedral in Sofia.

IMG_1425.JPGAegean sea, Thessaloniki, just near my host’s place.

IMG_1422.JPG The truck of the Czech truck driver. We went to ask help in center.